When I was introduced to the vintage G-Shock classics, most models did not much to me. No wonder, I was pretty new to the subject and gotten into G-Shocks by the bigger 90's models.
Still one vintage G got my attention in my early collecting days. The DW-5500C (August 1985). Already at release this model was a milestone.
Casio named it G-Shock II. It was nicknamed "Mudman" and it was also the first model of the "Master of G" line.
I didn't knew these details back then, but I very much liked the bigger case and the red covered buttons. In fact, this must have also been the first colorful G-Shock. Ahead of it's time.
I was pretty happy when I found out the G-5500 was about to be released in 2006. Now various Atomic and non-Atomic 5500 variations were released. In May 2009 Casio released a completely other 5500 version, the GLX-5500.
The GLX-5500 is part of the G-Lide series. In adverts Casio showed that they aim this model for surfers and other water sporters.
The watch has the same 3151 module as found on the GLX-5600. The first thing you'll notice on the watch is the Tidegraph. The Tidegraph is a kind of sinus wave grid with vertical bars. A block of black liquid crystals shows the current tide, if the Tidegraph is programmed correctly, of course.For the correct display of the tide, you'll need to know your longitude and the Lunitidal Interval. It's a pity Casio does not produce G-shocks which you can program with both longitude and latitude. With these two parameters you can calculate also sunrise ans sunset.
Above the low tide part of the Tidegraph, there is a circular grid cut out, again with vertical bars. This circle represents the moon and it displays it's phase.
Under the Tidegraph part there is a normal display that shows time, day and date. At the bottom there is a small line for markers. Here you can see if your alarms, hourly chime, auto EL, etc are toggled on or off.
An additional function is shown in that line too, the Mute function. You can toggle Mute on and off by pushing the "MODE" button for about three seconds. In normal mode there are beeps, when changing from one mode to the other. In Mute mode, the watch stays silent when the MODE button is pushed. If alarms and/or hourly chime are programmed or a Countdown timer ends, beeps are still heard.
Very cool is the ring around the display. At first look the ring looks a bit maroon to dark purple. When more light falls on it, the ring turns to a lighter shade of purple.
Like the GLS-5600V models there is a pattern etched into this ring, so light is reflected different every time you move. Quite an eye-catcher.
The resin used on the bezel and straps have a glossy finish. Only the buttons covers are matte. It accentuates the fact that these covers are made of a softer kind of resin.
On the DW-5500C the button covers were the weakest point. Far the most of these that were for sale (pretty rare occasions) had missing button covers on the bezel. Knowing Casio is always looking for new technology, I guess that the button covers of the new 5500's will be made of a new, stronger and longer lasting resin.
Besides the series name G-Lide, there is also an exotic print on the strap. It looks like a kind of stystic Hawaiian flower design. When strapped on, you immediately feel how comfortable the wider strap is. The 5500's have been out of sight for 21 years, but I ho e they are back for good.
The EL backlight is beautiful, clear and bright. Standard the EL stays on for 1.5 seconds. You can set the EL time (Casio calls this "Afterglow") to 3 seconds.
The prominent appearance of the Tidegraph clearly shows this is an ultimate watch for the extreme water sporter. Although it's black, the glossy finish, the reflecting maroon/purple ring around the display and the exotic flower print makes this a flashy watch for a surfing daredevil.
I am not a surfer or practicing water sports, but I like the looks very much. In some of the photo's the ring around the display might remind you to the Crazy Colors series, but in real this ring is much more subtile.
This model is still available. I got mine from a Singapore seller. I'm not sure what I paid for it, but it would have been around €50.- or so. In my opinion almost a steal.